One NCBI Workshop Participant Shares Her Experience
Combined Destinies Workshop: An Opportunity for Healing
By Evelyn Kahan
On Saturday March 12, 2016, a multi-racial group of 24 attended an exciting and thoughtful workshop based on a book entitled COMBINED DESTINIES: WHITES SHARING GRIEF ABOUT RACISM edited and authored by NCBI’s own Ann Todd Jealous and Carolyn T. Haskell. Workshop participants had read two specific chapters (made available by download) from the book before arriving on Saturday. The afternoon began with two focus pieces: Sue Parris and J.T. Mason each read their short yet powerful writings, from the book. Armed with all that, we were launched directly into the heart of an experience. An inner circle of participants spoke of racism in their own lives. The variety of those experiences, from all corners of our country, were eye-opening, expanding my knowledge of the many insidious as well as open ways that racism shows up in the U.S., how it impacts people of color, and a glimpse of what that does to white people, whether the racism comes from us or we witness it.
We explored how those experiences made us feel. Our stories were “played back” to us by our partner in the outer circle who had practiced active listening. The three hours sped by as deep thought and feelings of the participants carried us on a healing journey facilitated by Ann and Caroline. All participants wanted more of this healing and edifying experience. Happily it is likely Ann and Caroline will grace us with a new workshop along this journey to end racism.